Why do the people plot a vain thing?
In the United States, tolerance is the way to go. We are not a theocracy. You can say the “founding fathers” had other things in mind, but let’s be real, this country has changed since 1776 or 1789, depending on how you perceive the beginning of it all. Many people no longer identify with a religion, and if someone does, we leave each other alone.
You can make a valid claim that this is the result of information technology and awareness of the world and humanity as a whole. We want to preserve ourselves as a race, and we do so by being “okay” with everyone.
But the awareness of a world of different people has also created incredible hostility. In some areas of the world, this hostility is relentless. People want world peace. We post on Facebook about unity, pasting videos from Invisible Children Inc. on our statuses hoping to spread the love, but realistically, it’s not going to happen. As long as ideals exist, there will never be complete peace. Somebody will always disagree with someone else.
Psalm 2 is idealistic to the nth degree. God is described as haughty (v. 4), arrogant (v. 10), and angry (v. 5, 9, 12). He laughs in a mocking fashion after watching kings band together “against the Lord and against His anointed”. This Psalm is clearly talking about a deity superior over all men and all other gods. The average United States citizen would find this Psalm completely ridiculous and archaic, because, while Christianity does still hold the title as Most Popular World Religion, Islam is a close second, and God doesn’t seem to have some special hold over their expansion and violent behavior.
As a qualifier, if you claim “Christianity” as your religion (and being Catholic is under the same category, whether or not you want to believe it), if you don’t identify with Jesus Christ as your Savior, nor do you believe the Lord as described in the Bible is the only true God, and you don’t think the Bible is really true as it is written, then you’re not a Christian. If you want to change that stance and become a Christian, do something about it.
Yeah, that was nasty. But it’s true, and you SHOULD do something about it.
By design, Christians should be idealistic. There should not be a tolerance for other faiths. This does not mean we do not love people who deny Christianity — in fact, we’re encouraged to love these people all the more — but there is no room for believing that someone else has it right, according to the Bible. This Psalm should be pretty clear about that.
But what about the “other nations”? Is anyone secretly plotting against a nation of Christians?
The Psalm is speaking of the Jewish nation. And if there is any theocratic nation of people that has been scrutinized, opposed, attacked, and systematically eradicated, this is it. What amazes me is that, despite the brutal pummeling the Jews receive, they continue to stand. Sounds like a vain effort of conspiracy to me. God has their backs for sure.
As a Christian, this Psalm should be meaningful as well, because it talks about a “Son” (v. 7). The Psalm directs much of its attention to this entity, and how this Son will possess all of the nations and break them with a “rod of iron…like a potter’s vessel” (v. 9). The Jesus we read of in the NT certainly isn’t like this, is He? He’s a loving, kind, and gentle guy.
If you believe this, you’re also wrong. Jesus was really nasty with many people in His short stint on earth. And the next time He comes around, it’ll be with a sword. That sounds violent and justice-driven to me.
The Son is also looking to grab His inheritance on the earth. An inheritance requires someone to die. Jesus died so we might inherit the Son, but conversely we “die” to ourselves so He might inherit us into heaven.
“Now therefore”, the Bible-blogger finishes, “be wise” and serve the Lord “with fear, and rejoice in trembling.” We need to have a consistent reverence for the Lord if we decide that He is indeed the Lord, by definition. This is going to create controversy in your life, because you’re now upholding an ideal by saying someone is God. Don’t relinquish that, ever. We are “blessed” (v. 12) for keeping it up.
I think John 16:33 does the best job summarizing everything here:
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”